DL Dexter Lawrence II
June 7, 2022
Q. Can you talk about how this defense is coming together? Looks like you're doing a lot of exotic looks, a lot of pressure. A lot of confusion for the offense, but yet it seems like you guys are getting it all down pat.
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Yeah, it's important to communicate more than ever really, which is a positive thing. You need to have that on defense. That's what I'm liking most about it, making us talk to each other, learn what everybody around us has, because we could potentially have that.
So that's why it's looking like that, because we all are just talking and communicating, making sure we're on the same page.
Q. Are you communicating on the field also?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: I mean, right now we're over-communicating, which you need. We're still learning the defense, trying to get comfortable with it. Yeah, at practice we are still talking on the field.
Q. Would you say at this point you guys are doing as opposed to less thinking or are you still in the thinking mode?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Obviously we’ve been here for like, what, three, four, however many weeks, so we get more and more comfortable.
So less thinking and more doing, of course, yeah, uh-huh.
Q. What are you learning from Coach Dre that can make you a better player?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Just learning how to manipulate slides and offensive linemen’s shoulders, using my hands and length more. You know, rushing, keeping my eyes on my rush man. Little things like that that a defensive lineman has to know.
Q. How different is he from the coaches you've had in the past?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Yeah, every coach is pretty much different. He honed in. You know, he tried to teach us from feet up, so kind of get everything working as one.
You know, he's just been great helping us learn and be better.
Q. How much different is your role on this defense from the past ones you played in?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: I don't think I have a different role. It's probably just more advanced maybe. I'm becoming an older guy and have more responsibility to be a leader.
You know, I put it on myself to help guys line up or get the strength call, the kind of things I do for myself and for everybody.
Q. Coach Daboll talked about position flexibility. Are they asking you to do more this year?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: I mean, everybody can do anything in this defense, which is good. I can drop, I can rush off the edge, I can play linebacker, blitz, little things like that. We're all learning how to manipulate the scheme.
Q. What's the biggest growth in your game this year?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Growth? I just say being a little more productive. Just finishing off plays and just making more plays. That's pretty much it. (Smiling.)
Q. Just to go back to your other answer, you have to know all this stuff, but doesn't necessarily mean that they're asking you to do it. It's just in case it ever comes up; is that correct?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: No, I mean, like I said, Leo can play zero, I can play five, so it's like we're just learning the whole defense just to know where you can potentially be.
Q. Is your primary role still the big guy in the middle to stop the run?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: I mean, that's everybody's role. That's our team's goal, is to stop the run. You know, I feel like that's who I am kind of right now.
Just making sure everybody understands we’ve got to do this first then pass rush. I'm not going to label myself as a run stopper. I have the ability to pass rush.
Q. You kind of alluded to it there. If you look at your PFF grades, you’re a pretty good pass rusher. Do you feel like you're underrecognized league-wide?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: I don't know what the league thinks. I just go out there and just play football really. Whatever happens after each play, during each play, happens. I just control what I can do each week and each day, and that's get better.
Q. Do you think this defense and the aggressive nature of it will give you a chance to do more of that? You do it well. Do you think you'll get a chance to maximize those skills?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Yeah, the just the amount of pressure, simulated pressures. You know, people running wide open if you were watching practice, it's kind of hard to pick up.
So little things like that. Learning where the offensive line is going to set or protect, things like that is going to help everybody.
Q. Your former roomy didn't get his fifth-year option picked up. When see him out there, is he any different?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: I don't think he's any different. Honestly, he's a little more vocal, a little more just looking really good, throwing good balls, leading the offense.
So he's looking good out there.
Q. What did it mean to you to get your option picked up?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Just more motivation for me really to keep going and earn more and do more, so that's kind of how my mindset shifted.
Q. Wink always had that big body. Do you see yourself playing a lot more on that zero?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Yeah, that's where Leo is three, I'm the nose tackle. But like I said, we play every position pretty much, so I don't think it's just necessarily I'm stuck in the middle being a run stopper.
I remember when Snacks dismissed the idea that he should be a leader. I don't recall his exact words, but I do recall being pissed about it.